FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY concourse of interests, in the faith that the mind would one day ^ attain maturity and so become truly moral. " Do you believe," he asks in The Msthetic Presentation of the World, " that by moral ideas alone you can teach how to act ? Man stands in the midst of nature, himself a part of it, her power streaming through his inmost soul... He must know himself and his powers, and the forces around him which can help him/'* With the historical and the scientific studies go the practical activities relating to them. The course he recommends, for example, includes manual training, which he insists must not be regarded as a mere prepara- tion for a trade, but as having an intimate connection with science as furnishing a link between the apprehension of the facts of nature and human purposes. v A curriculum like this guarantees many-sided interest. But more is required. Scattering of interests forms an antithesis to many-sidedness just as much as one-sidedness. Many-sidedness is to be the foundation of virtue, but since the latter is an attribute of personality the unity of self-consciousness must not be impaired* " The many sides," he declares, " should represent sides of the same person, like different surfaces of one body." One way of effecting this unification of interests is through a properly arranged method of instruction. The demand for unity in the intellectual sphere implies, according to Herbart, a twofold mental process. On the one hand, there must be a gradual acquisition of single ideas by successive efforts; and on the other hand, alternating with it, a gradual gathering or assimilation of these separate ideas into the unity of a group. The first he calls absorption, " getting deep into a thing." For the time being the whole mind is con- centrated on the one object: all other objects which might distract attention are excluded. The second is reflection, the process of comparison and co-ordination by which the object which has been apprehended in the act of absorption is brought into relation with the other contents of the mind. "Absorption and re- flection, as forming the act of mental respiration, should always alternate with one another." Expanding this idea, Herbart marks out four successive stages in the course of instruction which, he says, "are universal and must be followed in all instruction without exception." In the first, the aim is Clearness. The objects tp be studied have to be broken up Into their dements so * Eckofi, p. 114.